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The leading daily in the southern city of Nice, the broad sheet was founded in 1944 and serves much of southeastern France.
French Master Forger Dies After Being Mugged For His (Fake) Luxury Watch
Bertrand Hauger

French Master Forger Dies After Being Mugged For His (Fake) Luxury Watch

Eric Piedoie, a French master forger known as "the art pirate," has died after being mugged in Cannes over his luxury watch — which (like his own work) was a fake. French daily Le Parisien highlighted the irony, calling his death Sunday from heart failure after the attack "one last snub" from a man who spent his life copying other people's work.

Miro, Giacometti, Niki de Saint Phalle, Yves Klein, Toulouse-Lautrec, Chagall: Beginning in the 1980s Eric Piedoie made a (devilish) name for himself by masterfully forging and selling works by the world's greatest artists, deceiving gallery owners and specialists alike.

Local daily Nice-Matin estimates that this colorful dandy had earned between 15 and 20 million euros from his imitations — a fortune he is believed to have squandered, mostly by gambling. In 2009, Piedoie was sentenced to 4 years in prison for forgery, and had since given up his illicit forgery activity.

In Monaco, Four-Year-Old Runs Over Man With Dad's Bentley
Bertrand Hauger

In Monaco, Four-Year-Old Runs Over Man With Dad's Bentley

The idea that the streets of Monaco are lined with luxury vehicles isn't an overstatement. The recently crowned "supercar capital of the world" also comes with risks, as stretch limousines and sports cars must navigate the tiny city-state's meandering streets and narrow squares.

Yet last Friday, when a Bentley crashed into a Belgian man outside the Place du Casino, the driver at fault turned out to be quite a wildcard: a four-year-old boy.

Police report that the child slid into the driver's seat when his father, an Armenian visiting from Prague, stepped out of the vehicle to give the car keys to the hotel valet. The boy then managed to hit the gas pedal, making the big British car lurch forward a dozen meters, where it ran over the unfortunate pedestrian.

The 53-year-old victim had to undergo emergency surgery in nearby Nice after being trapped under the wheels of the 2-ton Bentley, but is now out of danger, reports local dailyNice-Matin.

Belgian daily Le Soir writes that the ongoing investigation by the Monaco police will determine how the boy was able to drive forward if the father had brought the keys to the valet. First-world problems, Monaco-style.

The Latest: Peru’s New President, Broken Olympics Bubble, Steamrolled Bitcoin

The Latest: Peru’s New President, Broken Olympics Bubble, Steamrolled Bitcoin

Welcome to Tuesday, where Peru's contested election finally gets a winner, the Olympics bubble system is broken and another billionaire is blasting off for space. German daily Die Welt also explains why Asian countries, which were previously considered successful COVID tamers, are now struggling with new waves of infections.

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New design of the future Ikea store in Nice, France
Tori Otten

Adjö​ Big Blue Box Stores, A Slick New Look For IKEA

NICE — You can spot an IKEA store from a mile away: The classic blue-and-yellow box design of every outlet of the Swedish home goods giant is as much a part of its identity as the quirky names of its chairs and the meatballs at the snack bar. Get ready, though, because IKEA's look is about to change in a major way.

In an effort to appeal to a new generation of customers — and to be more environmentally friendly — the company will start building a series of so-called Sustainable Stores. And the first thing to go is the blue metal box style.

wilmotte ikea nice

Wilmotte's Ikea project — Photo: Wilmotte & associés / IKEA France

Across Europe, IKEA is hiring top architects to design modern, eco-friendly stores as part of its new branding and sustainability efforts. The first of these stores will be in Kaarst, Germany and is slated to open in October. Designed by Henning Larsen Architects, one of the biggest changes will be the incorporation of natural light.

One result of making a storefront entirely out of metal sheeting is that the interior gets little to no sunlight, and must be lit with fluorescent, factory-style lighting. But the store in Kaarst will have a glass storefront, allowing daylight into the store. The building will also have energy efficient technology and outdoor spaces such as terraces and a rooftop deck for customers.

The classic IKEA store look — Photo: William Murphy

Other coming stores with the new look include Greenwich, England, and Nice, France. French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, whose recent projects include renovating the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris in 2016, has designed the glass-paneled storefront in Nice.

The design choice is a typical decision for Wilmotte but, again, a brand new one for IKEA. The store will also be part of the Saint Isidore eco-village, built in partnership between IKEA and French mobile communications company Bouygues Telecom.

The future Ikea store in Nice — Photo: Wilmotte & associés / IKEA France

The daily Nice-Matinreports thatin addition to the IKEA outlet, the eco-district will include a housing complex and office buildings, as well as the Allianz Riviera athletic stadium, a previous Wilmotte project. The buildings will run on environmentally friendly energy, and there will be public green spaces incorporated throughout the village. By integrating the storefront into the general neighborhood, instead of making the store a standalone structure, IKEA will fully incorporate itself into the lifestyles of its customers.

Getting rid of its recognizable architecture is something of a small revolution for IKEA, and may make it harder to spot the stores from the highway. You may have to follow your nose to the meatballs.

Mourning in Nice

Extra! Patriotism And Mourning A Year After Nice Terrorist Attack

Nice Matin, July 13, 2017

This year's Bastille Day celebrations will have special meaning in Nice, as the southern French city commemorates the first anniversary of the July 14, 2016 attack when a truck driven by a terrorist plowed into a dense crowd gathered to watch the National Day's fireworks.

The city's largest local daily, Nice Matin ("Morning Nice"), marks the anniversary of the attack that killed 86 people and wounded more than 450 others with a front page photo of a young woman leaning out of a window, head high, waving a French flag. The headline reads "Aux Drapeaux!" ("To flags!"), a reference to the French national anthem's chorus "Aux armes, citoyens' ("To arms, citizens!").

Franck - Photo by Sébastien Botella/Nice-Matin
Terror in Europe
Guillaume Bertolino

The Scooter Hero Of Nice: I Was Ready To Die To Stop Him

A video circulating showed a desperate attempt by someone on a scooter to stop the runaway truck in Nice. Most figured the scooter driver was dead. Here's his story.

NICE The image of Franck was broadcast everywhere, on television and across the Internet in the hours after last Thursday's deadly terrorist attack in Nice. We got to see the dark and grainy video clip of a scooter riding up alongside the truck plowing through crowds of people on the Promenade des Anglais, in what looks like a desperate attempt to halt the 19-ton vehicle.

Many will be surprised to find out that Franck — who did not want his last name published — is alive. Both from the images in the video and several eyewitness accounts, it was believed that this anonymous hero had died in his brave and risky gesture to stop the terrorist, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhel.

But this 49-year-old Nice airport employee with salt-and-pepper hair, has survived. Between two doctor appointments to treat multiple bruises and a fractured rib, Franck granted Nice-Matin his exclusive story. Like so many others, that fateful night began when he and his wife decided to partake in the city's holiday evening festivities, down by the shoreline.

"I actually wanted to go see the fireworks, but we arrived too late. So we decided to get ice cream instead. I remember passing the Magnan intersection on my motorbike and everything was fine. We passed people who were starting to go home.

Once we arrived at the Mediterranean University Center, we felt there was a stampede starting behind us. We heard shouts and my wife said, "Stop, there's something wrong." When we turned around we saw the crowd scattering in all different direction like they were fleeing something. That's when we saw the truck coming from behind us.

We were in the middle of the road, there weren't many cars around. I must have been riding at about 60 kilometers per hour (37 mph). I did not even have time to glance in my rearview mirror. He hurtled past me. He was driving on the sidewalk. I've got images of bodies flying everywhere stuck in my mind. I immediately understood what was happening. I decided to accelerate. My wife put her hand on my arm and asked where I was going. I stopped and told her "Get off!". Then I raced at full speed.

To catch up with the truck, I had to zigzag between people, living and dead. I remember screaming into my helmet. I was completely focused on the back of the truck. I was determined to go through with it.

He continued to drive from the road to the sidewalk, hitting people everywhere. At a certain point, I had almost made it to the back of the truck, because I've got a 300cc bike that accelerates quickly. I wanted to stop him at any cost. I was both in a trance and very lucid at the same time. I managed to get on his left side. My goal was to reach the cabin.

When I caught up with him, I asked myself: What are you going to do with your poor scooter? That's when I launched it against the truck. I continued to run after him. I remember falling and then getting up and running again, as fast as I could. I didn't know what I was doing. Finally, I got to cling onto the cabin.

I managed to climb on to the foot steps below the open window. I hit him again and again and again — as hard as I could with my left hand even though I'm right-handed. I hit him in the face, but he said nothing, he didn't flinch.

He had his gun in his hand, but it was not working. It was as if he was trying to load it but didn't know how to. He pointed it at me, with his finger on the trigger but nothing happened.

I was ready to die. I was lucid and ready to die to stop him. I continued to hit him. I tried to pull him out of the cabin through the window because I couldn't open the f***ing door. He ended up hitting me in the face with the butt of the gun — I got stitches. I fell from the steps and got back up immediately."

The day after, the truck that ploughed into spectators in Nice
Eric Galliano and Grégory Leclerc

On The Trail Of Nice Killer Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel

NICE — There are still more questions than answers three days after Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a 20-ton truck through hundreds gathered to see the Bastille Day fireworks on the city's waterfront, killing 84 people and injuring more than 200, before being shot dead by police.

Still, a portrait of the 31-year-old divorced father of three is emerging, as authorities probe his movements, activities and the people with whom he was in contact in the days and weeks leading up to the attack.

Bouhlel was born in Tunisia but had a permit to live and work in France. He was a delivery driver known to the police as a petty criminal who had run-ins with the law since 2010 for theft and acts of violence, including incidents involving a gun.

Sources tell Nice-Matinthat Bouhel had been in the midst of moving houses, which he used as an excuse to justify renting the large truck. The recent DAF model LF was equipped with control devices that provide information on the driver's movements and actions, which investigators have already analyzed to obtain further information on the the routes he took.

These devices and the images from the CCTV footage show that the attacks were clearly planned ahead of time, as Bouhlel had scouted out the famous waterfront Promenade des Anglais on the two days before the attack.

The transport company where he worked describe somone who often would forget his keys in the truck or leave the headlights on all night. He was described as "often nervous" and "absent-minded."

One recent action in particular has drawn the attention of investigators. On July 6, Bouhlel transfered 24 euros ($26) to a website, under the heading "Islam" on his bank statement. He was not a religious man, however, these last months, he appeared to have taken a major interest in his Muslim roots. The hard disk of his computer showed that, shortly before the attack, he visited several sites of jihadist propaganda.

Accomplices, ideology

Among the unanswered questions. Did Bouhlel get external help? Did he have accomplices? Was it really in the name of the ISIS terrorist organization?

As has been reported, ISIS has claimed Bouhlel was one of its soldiers, but did he receive a direct order from the terror group, or was he inspired by their ideology?

French Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve stated that "it seems he became radicalized very quickly." French authorities had never opened a security file on Bouhlel because he had no known ties to any terrorist or jihadist group.

President Francois Hollande said on Friday that it was "an attack whose terrorist nature cannot be denied."

To help find some anwsers, French authorities detained six people in connection with the attacks. Bouhlel's estranged wife was detained at her apartment Friday and released Sunday morning without charge. Henaj, a man who supposedly sold a gun that the driver carried in the truck, along with two replica assault rifles and a dummy grenade was arrested Sunday along with his wife.

Only hours before the Nice attack, Hollande had announced that France's state of emergency that had been instituted after the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris would be removed later this month. After the attack in Nice, Hollande quickly changed course, announcing the special security measures were now being extended for another three months.

Screen shot of police showdown with the driver of the truck
Terror in Europe
Damien Allemand*

Not Just Another Bastille Day, What I Saw In Nice

NICE — It was a cool atmosphere, the fireworks were impressive, kids tossing pebbles in the water — and the Promenade des Anglais was packed full. Just like every other Bastille Day.

I had chosen to spend the evening on the beach around the High-Club, where the Promenade becomes pedestrian. As soon as the show was over, we all stood up at the same time. Heading for the stairs, all squished like sardines. I was zigzagging between people to reach my scooter, parked nearby.

In the distance, a noise. Screams. My first thought: some smartass wanted to make his own fireworks and lost control.. But no. A fraction of a second later, a huge white truck raced by at a crazy speed, steering hard in order to hit as many people as possible. This truck of death passed just a few feet away from me, and I did not even realize it.

Where is my son?

I saw bodies fly like bowling pins as it passed. I heard screams that I will never forget. Petrified, I did not move. Panic was all around. People were running, screaming, crying. Then, I realized that I should run with them, and started heading toward the Cocodile, where everyone was running to for refuge. I only stayed for a few minutes even if it felt to me like an eternity. "Run for cover". "Don't stay here". "Where is my son ? Where is my son ?" — These are just some of the words I heard around me.

Quickly, it was time for me to find out what had happened. I went outside, but the Promenade looked deserted. No noise. No sirens. Not a single car. I then crossed the median to return to where the truck had passed. I ran into Raymond, in his fifties, in tears, who told me: "There are dead people everywhere".

He was right. Right behind him, every 15 feet there were lifeless bodies, body parts... Blood. Whimpering. The beach attendants were first on the scene. They brought water for the injured and towels which they laid where there was no more hope. In that moment, I lost my courage. I wanted to help, offer assistance... in short, do something. But I couldn't.

Soon, a second wave of panic sent me running back to the Cocodile. "He's coming back! He's coming back!" It was a lie. The truck murderer's end came nearby, covered in bullets. I didn't hear any gunshots. Just screams. An now crying. Only crying.

I ran again, straight ahead. I got my scooter to quickly try to get far away from this hell. I went back up the Promenade and I grasped the full extent of the tragedy. Bodies and injured people covered the sidewalk all the way to Lenval. The first ambulances were beginning to arrive...

*Damien Allemand is the digital director of Nice Matin. This piece also appeared on Medium.